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Ozarks Food Harvest Produce Distribution

Since 2014, our partnership with Ozarks Food Harvest has helped to reduce food waste by distributing fresh produce directly to food insecure neighborhoods.

As part of our commitment to addressing red flag themes in the Springfield Community Focus Report—like the growing poverty levels—SCG has partnered with Ozarks Food Harvest to put fresh, free produce in the hands of local families who need it.

Since beginning this program, over 100,000 individuals have received over 750,000 pounds of free food. That amounts to more than $1.3 million worth of food that would have otherwise been sent to a landfill.

Weekly produce distribution is
located at Weller Community Church
and held Wednesdays from 1:00 to 1:30 pm.

Nourish the Ozarks

Dedicated to creating a sustainable cycle of support within the heart of the Ozarks.

In collaboration with Community Partnership of the Ozark's and through CPO's Food Collaborative, we are sowing the seeds of change for a brighter future. The "Nourish the Ozarks" program bridges the gap between farmers and underserved communities by purchasing directly from the farmers then distributing fresh, local food to rural communities lacking access to high-quality, nutritious food. By sourcing directly from local farmers, we are providing them with a platform to thrive and contribute to their communities while making a sustainable living.

The food acquired through this program is provided to produce distribution sites and community fridges across a 14 county region.

CSA for CoxHealth Employees

Increasing nutrition for our health care partners and setting an example of supporting local growers.

Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) is a model for consumers to buy directly from a local farm. This provides a customer with regular deliveries of farm fresh food while ensuring steady revenue for the farmer.

SCG's CSA program offers 75 shares of weekly produce boxes for employees of CoxHealth during a 22-week season. Produce is grown from the Amanda Belle's Hospital Farm, as well as aggregated from other farmers in our area. Each box includes a value of $35 worth or more of local food, monthly value-added products, plus recipes to inspire eating seasonally and cooking at home.

Filling Community Fridges

With support from the Nourish the Ozarks program and local farmers, SCG is helping fill Springfield's community fridges.

There is a growing number of community fridges being offered to Springfield residents. These fridges offer free produce to any individual seeking access to fresh food. Fridges are currently being operated by community partners such as the Springfield-Greene County Library system, Drew Lewis Foundation, Better Block SGF, and Community Partnership of the Ozarks. Stay tuned for additional information being shared about the locations and details for accessing these fridges.

Pathways to Institutional Sales

We are creating pathways for local farms to sell directly to institutional buyers. There are many barriers for small scale producers to sell to restaurants, hospitals, schools, and grocery stores. SCG is forging relationships to increase market opportunities for more local farmers.

SCG grown produce is currently being sold to the CoxHealth's Meyer Orthopedic and Rehabilitation Hospital, Mama Jeans Natural Grocer, various local restaurants, and will eventually be provided for the salad bar at Cox South Hospital.

SCG Test Kitchen

A resource for developing value-added products.

SCG's Test Kitchen at Cox North assists beginning growers to develop value-added products like jams, pies, elderberry syrup, salads, soups, quiche and other products to diversify their farm's income stream. This is a certified and licensed kitchen and also aids in food safety training for farmers and university students including Cox College dietetic interns.

This kitchen is also the hub of SCG's zero-waste initiative. Thanks to funding from the Ozarks Headwaters Recycling District, SCG is piloting a program that diverts leftover food from the CoxHealth cafeteria line and repurposes it into ready to cook frozen meals served to families and individuals visiting our weekly produce distributions. In addition to diverting food waste and helping feed our neighbors, this pilot program also includes youth in efforts to raise awareness of local and regional food insecurity.


“Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food” - Hippocrates

Individuals experiencing poverty are more likely to be food insecure and are often challenged by limited resources, competing priorities, and stressors that make it difficult to maintain good health. Research has found that food-insecure households pay $1,863 more in healthcare costs per year compared to those in food-secure households which often requires individuals to make trade-offs between medications/healthcare and food.

SCG and doctors at CoxHealth have partnered to provide low-income patients with prescription produce boxes! Patients are able to receive organically grown, fresh fruits and vegetables as well as receive one-on-one consultation with a doctor and dietician to discuss how to use the food in their boxes and how it will benefit them nutritionally.

This innovative program also helps to engage medical students, clinicians, and patients with SCG's network of farms and gardens to build community and connect ALL pieces of our food system. This effort represents a strategic and impactful step forward in making the connection between a better diet and improved overall health.

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